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Murray on 12-Year Anniversary Since Last Minimum Wage Increase: “Workers Deserve Better, and Congress Must Deliver”

July 24th marks the 12-year anniversary of the last increase to the federal minimum wage, which has remained stagnant at $7.25 an hour since 2009


(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, issued the following statement ahead of tomorrow’s 12-year anniversary of the last time the federal minimum wage was raised. The federal minimum wage is currently only $7.25 an hour or $2.13 an hour for tipped workers. Workers with disabilities who are subjected to subminimum wages earn only an average of $3.34 an hour, according to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.  


“Tomorrow marks 12 years since the last time we increased the federal minimum wage—12 years that workers have waited for a hard-earned, much-deserved raise, all while the cost of living has increased, and it’s gotten that much harder to make ends meet. Let me be clear: in no corner of this country is $7.25 an hour a livable wage in 2021. Millions of workers are working full time jobs, but their families still live in poverty or they struggle to afford basic needs. It’s absolutely unacceptable and it’s long past time we right this wrong and finally raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour and end subminimum wages for tipped workers, youth workers and workers with disabilities.


“This 12-year anniversary must serve as a wake-up call—workers deserve better, and Congress must deliver. We must pass the Raise the Wage Act without any further delay—and I’ll keep pushing every day until we do.”


Since the last minimum wage increase over ten years ago, Senator Murray has pushed to pass her Raise the Wage Act, which she re-introduced in January with Senator Sanders (I-VT) and Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA). The Raise the Wage Act of 2021 would increase the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2025, and then index it to median wage growth. The legislation also ends subminimum wages for tipped workers, youth workers, and workers with disabilities.